What Really Scares Foreign Tourists? Apparently, WE DO

Some insightful snapshots from this amusing Washington Post article about the 16 American cities that foreigners (or at least their governments) apparently fear the most — Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s actually mostly just the French – although the Germans clearly take home the gold for “most revealing recommendation…”

St. Louis: “Eviter le quartier nord entre l’aéroport et le centre-ville, mais la navette reliant l’aéroport est sûre.” Translation: Avoid northern area between the airport and the city center, but the airport shuttle is safe. [Hmmm. The airport shuttle… Very interesting… Not that I’d ever mug anyone in St. Louis, but if I were going to…]

Washington DC: Northeast and Southeast should be avoided, and Union Station is dangerous at night . . . “Le quartier Anacostia n’est pas recommandable de jour comme de nuit.” Translation: Don’t go to Anacostia, day or night. [Uh – First of all, Union Station??? – But yes – ALL 5091 Anacostians do indeed passionately hate the French and probably always will.]

Richmond, VA: “Egalement, ne pas visiter le centre-ville à pied.” Translation: Do not visit the city on foot. [Aside from Civil War reenactors, does anyone really visit Richmond anyway??]

Germany doesn’t warn its citizens about any specific cities, but it does caution against LETTING IT ALL HANG OUT: “Although the laws in individual states categorizing nudity as ‘indecent exposure’, are rarely asserted and punished, those laws should absolutely be followed.  Nude bathing and changing clothes at the beach stirs up public agitation and can lead to unpleasantnesses.” [In case useful for your next trip to Deutschland: the German word for “letting it all hang out”  – well, one of many, actually – is: “nachtbaden.”]

As for that last one, I’m fairly certain that EVERY American will join me in sincerely thanking the German Tourism Ministry.



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